4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Aug 2005  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/08/2005   
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The 2002 General Social Survey (GSS) included questions on volunteering. Earlier this year, NCCRS used the GSS data to undertake some analysis of the characteristics of and differences between volunteers for sports and other organisations.

The 2002 GSS found that, at the time of interview, there were 1.7 million people aged 18 years and over who had undertaken voluntary work during the previous 12 months for an organisation or group involved in sport, recreation or a hobby. These people (henceforth referred to as sport volunteers) comprised 12.1% of the total adult population. A further 22.3% (3.2 million) of the adult population undertook voluntary work for organisations or groups involved in other fields or activities (henceforth referred to as other volunteers). In the analysis, people who undertook voluntary work for both 'sport' and 'other' organisations were included in the figures for sport volunteers only.

Some of the other main findings of the 2002 GSS with respect to volunteers are as follows:

  • With a sport volunteer rate of 15.1%, males were more likely to volunteer for sports organisations than were females (9.2%). However, the reverse was true for other organisations, which had a volunteer rate of 25.9% for females compared with 18.5% for males.
  • Volunteer rates were higher in regions outside of the capital cities (15.6% for sport and 24.7% for other) than they were in the capital cities (10.2% for sport and 21.0% for other). In remote regions of Australia the sport volunteer rate was 23.9%, slightly exceeding the other volunteer rate (22.9%).
  • People who participated in or attended organised sport had much higher sport volunteer rates (25.6% and 19.3% respectively) than the adult population as a whole (12.1%).
  • For both sport and other volunteering, the more socioeconomically disadvantaged a household, as measured by the SocioEconomic Index for Areas (SEIFA), the less likely its adult members were to be volunteers. The sport volunteer rate ranged from 9.8% for members of households in the lowest SEIFA quintile (most disadvantaged) to 13.9% for members of households in the highest quintile. The corresponding rates for other volunteering were 19.5% and 26.8%.

A copy of the report Sport Volunteers and Other Volunteers - Some Data from the 2002 General Social Survey may be obtained from Colin Speechley on (08) 8237 7363 or by emailing <nccrs@abs.gov.au>.